Coinbase Review(2020)| How Safe Is It?

This post is a comprehensive yet concise review of Coinbase where I gave a total breakdown of its services and products.

Coinbase is among the oldest and biggest names in cryptocurrency space alongside Binance and others.

It started off as a broker exchange selling Bitcoin to its users but offers more services and supports more cryptocurrencies presently.

So far, it has a customer base of more than 30 million and has exchanged about $150 billion cryptocurrencies to date.

Today in this post, I will be taking you through all there is to know about Coinbase and its worth when compared to other exchanges.

It’s gonna be a jolly-good fun trip, dear reader.

So…just relax and scroll all the way down to the very last word.


Coinbase Review Summary

To be able to discuss this topic completely(without leaving out anything), I have chunked the facts into these mini-headings as follows:

  1. Coinbase Overview
  2. Coinbase Services
  3. Supported Currencies and Payment Methods
  4. Transaction Fees and Limits
  5. Countries Supported by Coinbase
  6. Customer Support and Reviews
  7. Coinbase vs Other Exchanges
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Conclusion

For quick access to the mini-headings details, click on any of it and whoosh!!…the details show up.

Enjoy reading this post!


1. Coinbase Overview

Coinbase logo

Coinbase is a  cryptocurrency wallet and platform where merchants and consumers can transact with cryptocurrencies.

It was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam as part of Ycombinator and is fully licensed and regulated.

The exchange started out offering Bitcoin brokerage services alone but over the years, additional services have been added.

It is based in San Francisco, California and has raised $217M from world-leading investors like NYSE, USV, Andreessen Horowitz, Adam Draper, e.t.c.


2. Coinbase Services

Coinbase offers the following services:

  • Buy/Sell Cryptocurrencies

Coinbase offers a broker service for the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. Most newbies in the crypto world buy their first coin through this exchange.

  • Coinbase Pro

This is a trading platform for individual traders and crypto enthusiasts. It offers an easy and secure way for individuals to buy, sell, and trade digital assets online instantly across various trading pairs. Advanced traders are provided with a fully-featured trading API.

  • Coinbase Prime

This is a trading platform for institutions looking to trade with business funds. The institutions are subjected to screening and allowed to trade only when qualified.

  • Wallet

Coinbase wallets are secure and easy to use. It has independent mobile wallets for iOS and Android users.

  • Commerce

Coinbase supplies merchants that have their businesses online with the ability to accept cryptocurrencies on their websites. It does this through a dedicated plugin that is supported by businesses such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento.

  • Ventures

Here, Coinbase provides financing to early-stage companies that are promising and possess the teams and ideas that can move crypto space forward in a positive manner. Examples of such companies are OpenSea, Etherscan, e.t.c.

  • Custody

Coinbase Custody is an independent New York Department of Financial Services(NYDFS) regulated entity. It is built on Coinbase’s crypto-first DNA and offers a sophisticated and reliable custody solution in the world.

It stores all assets and is mostly used by Assets Allocators, Foundations, e.t.c.

  • Coinbase Earn

Coinbase Earn lets you earn cryptocurrencies while learning about them in a simple and engaging way. Here, you take a course about a particular cryptocurrency and complete tasks at the end of it to earn an amount of that crypto.

  • USD Coin(USDC)

USD Coin(USDC) is a type of cryptocurrency that is referred to as a Stable Coin. You can always redeem 1 USDC for $1 thus giving it a stable price. On Coinbase, eligible customers can earn rewards for every USDC they hold.


3. Supported Currencies and Payment Methods

The following cryptocurrencies are supported on Coinbase:

The payment methods accepted are:

  • Credit/Debit Cards
  • PayPal(withdrawal only)
  • Wire Transfer(SEPA in Europe and ACH in the USA)

Read further:


4. Coinbase Transaction Fees and Limits

Coinbase Fees

It is not possible to state outrightly the fees at Coinbase as the fees differ depending on the users’ country and method of payment.

But generally, the following fees are charged at Coinbase:

For Buy/Sell Transactions

  • Spread – 0.50%

However, the actual Spread may be higher or lower due to market fluctuations in the price of Digital Currencies on Coinbase Pro between the time the price is quoted and the time when the order executes. 

  • Coinbase Fee in addition to the Spread(which is the greater of a flat fee or a variable percentage fee determined by region, product feature and payment type).

The flat fees are set forth below:

  1. If the total transaction amount is less than or equal to $10, the fee is $0.99.
  2. If the total transaction amount is more than $10 but less than or equal to $25, the fee is $1.49.
  3. If the total transaction amount is more than $25 but less than or equal to $50, the fee is $1.99.
  4. If the total transaction amount is more than $50 but less than or equal to $200, the fee is $2.99.

Digital Currency Conversions

  • Spread margin – 2.00%

The actual spread margin charged varies due to market fluctuations in the price of Digital Currencies on Coinbase Pro between the time it quotes a price and the time when the order executes. No Coinbase Fee is charged for Digital Currency Conversions. 

You can find more information on the fee here.

Coinbase Limits

Buy Limit

This depends on the level of your account. For example, for a Level 2 account, you will be able to buy up to $25,000 a day through ACH from your bank.

Withdrawal Limit

You can withdraw up to your maximum available balance (Your available balance is how much you can withdraw or send immediately). It is gotten by subtracting the pending funds from the total portfolio balance.

Send and Receive on the Blockchain

To send and receive funds on the Blockchain, you have to unlock  Level 3 by verifying a valid US State ID.

To increase your account level, you have to:

  • Get your phone number verified
  • Verify personal information
  • Verify photo ID

*This applies to users in the US.

More information on the limits can be found here.


5. Countries Supported on Coinbase

Coinbase supports 102 countries from these continents: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

In Africa, it supports 13 African countries including South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, e.t.c. It does not support  Nigeria. Users from Nigeria are only allowed to own a wallet but cannot buy or sell cryptocurrencies on Coinbase.

It supports 20 countries from the Asian continent including Armenia, Singapore, Hong Kong, e.t.c.

For Australia, it supports 2 countries: Australia and New Zealand.

In Europe, 41 countries are supported including UK, Estonia, Denmark,e.t.c.

18 countries are supported in North America including Canada, Mexico, Panama, e.t.c.

In South America, 8 countries that are supported are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.


6. Customer Support and Review

Apart from the appealing user interface of Coinbase, it also has a vast knowledge base that is grouped under different headings.

Answers to most requests can be found there but if not, the bots are there to attend to your queries at the live chat.

But when sending your request via a support ticket, it takes a while (up to 48hours or more) before a response is sent.

However, there are several complaints from the crypto community about Coinbase with most of them bordering on poor customer support.

This can be seen on the Better Business Bureau(BBB) page where it is rated ‘F'(lowest rating) because of unanswered complaints(680) and on Trustpilot where it has less than 2-star rating.

Besides the unanswered requests, there are other issues that users have complained about such as:

  • Closing down or freezing of accounts
  • Abuse of Affiliate reward, e.t.c.

These are some of the facts newbies should take into consideration before deciding to use Coinbase.


7. Coinbase VS Other Exchanges

Coinbase vs Luno

Luno is a trading platform that has its presence in 42 countries including Nigeria, South Africa, and Europe. It is the most used trading platform in South Africa and Nigeria.

Coinbase supports the buy, sell, and storage of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. Though it supports 102 countries, Nigeria is not one of the supported countries.

And because of this, Luno has an advantage over Coinbase as Nigeria ranks 2nd in daily Trading volume on Luno.

Read also:

Visit Luno

Coinbase vs Bitpanda

Bitpanda is one of the biggest names in cryptocurrency in Europe. It has its presence in Eurozone countries and supports 29 cryptocurrencies.

Both exchanges are almost the same as they both charge a 1.49% transaction fee and both do not support users from Nigeria.

So the determining factor here should be the exchange that allows users from your country.

Visit Bitpanda


8. Frequently Asked Questions

How do I buy cryptocurrencies from Coinbase?

You can buy cryptocurrencies in 2 ways: through the Web and through mobile apps(Android and iOS).
Using a Web Browser
Go to the Buys page.
Select the type of digital currency you would like to buy.
Enter the amount you would like to buy denominated in either cryptocurrency or your local currency.
Select the wallet you wish to have your funds deposited into.
Select your desired payment method.
Confirm the order is correct and click Buy.
Using the iOS & Android Apps
Tap the menu icon near the top left of the screen to open the navigation bar.
Select Buy from the navigation bar.
Select the type of cryptocurrency you’d like to buy.
Enter the amount you’d like to buy denominated in either cryptocurrency or your local currency.
Select the wallet you wish to have your funds deposited into.
Select your desired payment method.
After reviewing your order, tap Buy.
How do I send cryptocurrencies to another wallet?
Web 
Navigate to the Accounts link on the main navigation bar
Select the Send button for the cryptocurrency wallet that you’d like to send from
On the send dialog, select Wallet Address if you’re sending to a cryptocurrency wallet external to Coinbase or Email Address if you’re sending via email
Enter the amount of cryptocurrency you’d like to send in the Amount field. Alternatively, you can specify the amount you would like to send in your local currency. Note that the funds will always be sent as a  cryptocurrency, not your local currency.
Click Continue
Confirm the details of the transaction and complete the sending.
iOS
Tap the menu icon near the top left of the screen to open the Navbar.
Select the wallet you wish to send from, located in the Navbar.
Tap the paper airplane icon in the upper right hand of the screen.
Enter the amount you wish to send. (Tap the up/down arrows to switch between currencies.)
Press SEND
Enter the email or wallet address and any notes you wish to include.
Review the details of your transaction and tap ‘Send’ in the upper right corner of the screen.
Or if you have been provided a QR code:
Tap the QR icon in the upper right.
Take a picture of the QR code.
Enter the desired amount and press ‘Continue’.
Review the details of your transaction and tap ‘Send’ in the upper right corner of the screen.
Android
Tap the menu icon near the top left of the screen to open the Navbar.
Select the wallet you wish to send from, located in the Navbar.
Tap the ‘+’ icon near the lower right hand of the screen.
Tap ‘Send’
Enter the amount you wish to send. (Tap the up/down arrows to switch between currency selection.)
Enter the email or wallet address and any notes you wish to include.
Review the details of your transaction and tap the “forward” arrow in the upper right corner of the screen.
Or if you have been provided a QR code, follow the instruction above.

How do I receive from other wallets?

iOS
Tap the QR icon in the upper right.
Tap ‘My address’ near the top of the screen.
Allow the sender to scan your QR code or click ‘Copy Address’ and send your address to the other party.
Android
Tap the QR icon in the upper right.
Tap ‘My address’ near the top of the screen.
Allow the sender to scan your QR code or click ‘Copy Address’ and send your address to the other party.

Can I own an account on Coinbase from Nigeria?

Yes, you can. But you can only use it to store/send and receive coins. You cannot buy/sell on Coinbase.
But I strongly advise you store your coins on hardware wallets like Ledger and Trezor wallets. That way, you are in charge of your coins.


9. Conclusion: Can Coinbase Be Trusted?

Coinbase was registered (whois.com) on 02-07-2011( i.e 8 years as at the time of this review) which is a good sign in the cryptocurrency business. However, it needs to improve its support system.

As I will always say, in investment matters, substitute courage for caution and you will save yourself some trouble.

With that, dear reader, we end our jolly-fun trip for today!

You have taken notes and probably, jotted down questions, right?

It’s time to ask them…And I have some too.

Have you used Coinbase before?

Or you’ve had this experience with them that you will want to share?

Yes…And those points that are confusing, ask me for clarity now.

Put them down at the comment section below for me; will answer at once.

And share this post…Yes! Share it with your family and friends.

The social media buttons are below.

And before I sign off, I personally selected these posts for your reading pleasure.

Final Tip:

If you create a Coinbase account using this link and completes a transaction of up to $100, you will be rewarded with $10.


Coinbase

8

Company reputation

9.0/10

Users Friendly

8.5/10

Security

8.0/10

Customer Support

6.0/10

Fees

8.4/10

Pros

  • Friendly user interface
  • High liquidity
  • High buying limits

Cons

  • Limited payment options
  • Poor customer support

 
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